In a season of unnecessary reboots and tired sequels, 'The Bourne Legacy' is a spin-off that's refreshingly smart and free of CGI hocus-pocus. Empty your bladders well before it starts, find company that doesn't want to make idle chatter while the movie is on and don't let your concentration stray during this thriller.
What's it about?
After Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) exposes the chinks in the CIA's black-ops programmes, the agency decides to shut them down and bump off associated agents. Among them is Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), an agent with Operation Outcome who is dependent on pills that genetically enhance his intellect and strength. Renner narrowly escapes an assassination attempt and fools the agency into thinking that he's dead. Unable to function without medication and with supplies almost exhausted, he's forced to track down Dr Marta Shearling (Rachel Weisz) who works at the lab that produces the pills. Shearling's on the agency's hit list too and before long the two team up to stay alive and find some answers.
In Renner, we have a worthy substitute for Damon. His raw physicality, of which we had only a glimpse of in 'The Avengers', is on glorious display here. But the writing is the real hero of this movie. Set at about the same time as the events of 'The Bourne Supremacy', the movie shifts between parallel plot lines without leaving the viewer confused.
We'd shave off some points for a plot twist involving the CIA's 'secret weapon' (simply an excuse to include another chase sequence) and a cliched ending that did no justice to the frenzied pace of the rest of the film (and inappropriately brought to mind Adam Sandler's '50 First Dates'). Edward Norton as the CIA operative who's heading the shutdown, looks like a tired Sean Penn. An actor of his calibre is wasted in a role that requires only that you convincingly appear worried.
What to do?
Aaron Cross packs as much of a punch as Jason Bourne did. Don't leave your brain at home for this one.
in.com rating: 3.5/5
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